Multi-tasking comes naturally to Heather Paquette, a partner in the Midwest Information Technology Advisory Practice in the Chicago office of KPMG. In a recent interview, she talks about her ability to juggle three kids, all under the age of four, and the demands of being a partner in a Big Four firm.

Pamela Weinsaft of The Glass Hammer, an online community designed for women executives in financial services, law and business, interviews Paquette, who became a partner in 2004. Here are a couple of excerpts:

“One of the things that happened [when I went on maternity leave] was that I took my largest client and transitioned somebody else into that role…It was a little bit scary in that [before maternity leave] I had defined, secure revenue stream and, when I came back off leave, I suddenly didn’t have that any more. I had a lot of excess capacity and I had to figure out what to do with that … So I reached out to a lot of different people to get their thoughts on what I should be doing. The outcome was taking over these two initiatives and leading the team forward. In the end, I think it was really beneficial that I wasn’t able to go back into my secure space and I had to be a little bit innovative.

“There is not enough time in the day for everything you want to do,” Paquette said. “But the goal in what you are doing at work or with your family is to be fully engaged while you are there. To me that means if I have a conference call and I’m on my way home and it doesn’t wrap up by the time I get home, then I sit in the car until it is done, because once I walk in the door, I am ‘mom.’ If I only get a couple of hours a day with my kids, I am sitting on the floor playing with them or reading to them, not on my Treo.”


To read the whole interview, go here.